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Director of Marketing, IT and Slope Maintenance, Ski Cooper, Colo.
Hometown: Bellefonte, Penn.
Six-word bio: Ski obsessed cigar smoking jazz musician.
Fun fact: Likes to sleep to the sound of an idling diesel engine. (A good recording will do.)
Patrick Torsell grew up around the ski industry—his father was in the business for 40 years. He planned to study music in college, but decided to pursue ski resort ops instead, heading west to Colorado Mountain College’s Leadville campus. He took his knowledge back East to Sugarbush, Vt., for five years before landing at Ski Cooper, where he has his hands in just about everything.
Tell me about a day on the job.
I might arrive early to hop in a cat and help the graveyard shift finish up the grooming plan. I might snap a quick powder or corduroy photo to put on Facebook. I'll check in with my guest services and marketing teams, and then log on to the server and make sure the IT systems are up and running. I like to head up the hill to interact with guests and employees, and to check on the snow and grooming quality. I'll make an afternoon round through the base area, maybe write some copy for a blog post or a social media ad, or update the photo gallery online.
What do you think makes a good leader?
Good leadership is all about giving your team the training and tools they need, having their backs, making your expectations clear, and then getting the heck out of the way so they can do their jobs.
What was a proud moment in your career?
In 2015 I was selected as Colorado Ski Country USA's "Slope Groomer of the Year." While I've had the good fortune to advance my career into senior management, grooming is still my greatest passion, and being formally recognized for that passion may always be my personal favorite accomplishment.
What’s a conflict that you’ve dealt with on the job?
This past season, I had the distinct pleasure of tracking down, terminating, and then rebuilding from a ransomware attack.
In 10 years?
Founder, major stakeholder, and COO in a small multi-resort holder, dedicated to operating "anti-resorts." I'm very passionate about the small- and medium-sized ski areas that buck the trend, keep it about the skiing, and give real soul to the industry.